Focus on Building Strong Relationships

  • March 17, 2019

You love it when family members visit. If visits are regular it becomes the norm to not expect any gifts. However, when visits occur during the holidays like Independence Day or Christmas or during special occasions like a birthday or graduation material things become expected. This could be a result of family tradition or societal expectations. Family members expect toys, games, clothes and shoes, and sometimes money too. However, if the central focus of the visits is on material things members are not building strong interpersonal relationships. Families develop negative habits by comparing gifts received to those from past years or from other family members. This also involves forming an entitlement attitude where gifts become an obligation instead of being a privilege. However, by switching the focus to recreation, hobbies and events members will value you as a person and respect your time and attention. You will also notice an increase in confidence and self-esteem levels of everyone.

Test Your Own Family

To test if your family welcomes you based on your gift then at your next family visit do not carry the gifts with you. Instead you could have them brought over by a friend or shipped to arrive a few days after you get there. Then when you show up at their homes watch their faces carefully to see if they still feel great to see you or act disappointed. Some might walk away to get back to whatever activities they were engaging in. You can wait even further to see if they will ask if you brought gifts or if it becomes the center of the conversation. Later, after you have made enough observations then you can let them know that gifts are coming and then watch their expressions then.

Family Visits

Family members that visit very often are a part of everyday life. However, for persons that live far away then seeing them becomes a special event. These visits usually take place during the holidays when they can get time off from work. For e.g. some popular holidays are Christmas Day, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving Day. There are also special occasions when family members feel obligated to visit such as during a birthday, graduation or wedding celebrations.

Material Things

When families visit each other material things are usually a way of expressing love. However, if it becomes an expectation then the focus is on the amount of money spent instead of the time and effort that went into purchasing the gifts. Some popular examples of gifts are cameras, smartphones, sports equipment, toys, video games, jewellery. Older family members usually receive gift cards or money.

Negative Results

When the focus is on material things members use the monetary value of the gifts to grade visits. Hence, family members compare the things that they receive to those that they got in the past years. They might also compare items to those received from others or those owned by friends or neighbours. They might even develop an entitlement attitude and view these material things as an obligation. If nothing is given or they do not get what they expected then they become angry, disappointed and might even ignore members during the visit. Therefore, this causes little or no interpersonal relationships to develop. Interpersonal relationships focus on treating each person as an important member of the group, communicating with each other, having trust in each other and showing commitment to the well-being of that person. Hence, without it the family is not really bonding with each other.


In order to get each member to focus on the time and effort that it takes you to visit, then do not focus on material things. While you can choose to bring gifts occasionally practice on engaging with each other. This means participating in activities or hobbies such as playing board games, creating scrapbooks, using art and craft supplies, telling stories from your past or reading from a story book. You can also go out to the concerts, museums, parks or to sports games. This would help each other to learn and grow. Use your money, time and effort for building up talents, skills and life experiences. These would strengthen interpersonal relationships and each member would have more self-confidence and better self-esteem levels.

You cherish every visit that you take to see your family members. You also took the time and effort to bring gifts for them. However, you do not want them to consider your visit worthwhile only when you bring material things. Instead, skip the gift giving sometimes when you visit during the holidays or on special occasions. Instead focus on communicating, and participating in recreation, hobbies and events. These will help to build stronger interpersonal relationships which in turn will increase the level of confidence and esteem for each family member.

Steps to Improved Confidence in Relationships

  • March 15, 2019

A fulfilling relationship can enrich your life, provide security, contentment, happiness and joy.

But what defines a good relationship? Well a relationship based on equality, in which you feel free to be yourself at all times and which also makes you feel good, is a start! Rewarding relationships are not about point scoring, you freely do things for the other person and they do the same for you. They should provide support thought the bad times and fun at all other times.

Obviously there are many different types of relationships; family, friends, colleagues and romantic relationships, and the dynamics are all slightly different. However the following 3 steps can help all relationships become stronger.

1. Never become dependent.

Have you ever fallen into the trap of ‘putting all your eggs in one basket?’ This often happens with first loves – the whole world now revolves around your new love, the feelings are immense, overwhelming and even a little scary. You want to spend every waking moment with that person, nothing else matters. It is easy to lose contact with friends, see your family less and then if the relationship ends or sours you are left vulnerable, alone and a little lonely. You then need to go back to the drawing board and put in the effort to resurrect the old friendships and develop new ones, to provide much needed support.

This can happen at any time, in any relationship and it is essential for your confidence, and for strong relationships, to maintain some outside interests. See your friends regularly, make time for family, pursue hobbies without your partner. Of course I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to develop mutual interests, but just don’t lose your own identity. After all that is what attracted your partner or friends in the first place!!

2. Stand up for what you believe in – never be afraid of a disagreement.

There are times when you want to avoid confrontation, disagreements or full blown arguments, so you keep your opinions to yourself and simply agree with the other person. This is not necessarily wrong – if you can’t be bothered to argue over what to watch on telly, then fine!

But when it comes to the more fundamental aspects of your beliefs, desires and opinions, always express what you think. A good debate or even argument can stimulate a relationship, keep it fresh, and open channels of communication..Put your opinions across in a non confrontational way – being assertive is very, very different to being arrogant or aggressive. Always listen carefully to the other persons views and never resort to personal insults. Where appropriate, try to find compromise, not win the argument.

Stay focused on the issue. Arguing about one topic or event is fine but do not bring in old disagreements. The fact your boyfriend came home late and drunk last year is not relevant to today’s disagreement about where to go on holiday!

3. Don’t become complacent.

A relationship can become stale, boring and seem like more of a chore that a pleasure if you don’t put in the effort to keep it vibrant. Endeavour to do something nice for the other person at least once a week, and without expecting anything in return. Run a hot bath for your partner, cook your friends or family a delicious lunch or help a colleague use that new system.

Be inventive and don’t throw money at it. While gifts are great occasionally, small thoughtful gestures are much more effective in improving relationships.

Taking a time out now and again can bring new depths to a relationship – take a short break without your partner, don’t contact colleagues or friends when you are on holiday, and always make some time out just for yourself.

Relationships – Family Dynamics

  • March 13, 2019

When do you start to change the family dynamics?

Is it you or the children to change?

Within each family there are different situation that is played out each day
and it is sometimes difficult for the families to understand or heal their differences.
Some of these family dynamic are the parents are not satisfy with their children’s behaviour and are constantly blaming their children for not acting, listening or not doing what are ask of them.

Many parents give to their children material things because the parents do not want their children to feel deprive, not good enough or miss out on what they did not get when they were small.
Some parents over give to their children and are later upset that their children is not doing things around the home such as cleaning their room or helping around the home when some thing need attending to because the parents feel that the children should know better.

Many parents feel that their children should be grateful and show it by cleaning up their room or helping around the home and sometimes resent their children.
If the parents did not give to their children to do chores around the home, or to participate in family clean up, it is difficult that the children will start doing this on their own.

Blaming the children for not cleaning up is not the answer.
Having the children earn the things they want by having them do chores around the home.
By setting up a list of things to do around the home that can be rotated every couple of weeks can be another easy way to remove boredom.

Teaching the children that with each action they take or not take has an impact on themselves and others.
How about changing the roles for a day where the children gets to be the parent and the parents gets to be the children and see what lessons can be learn from this.